In it together: Mother talk of weight concerns moderates negative outcomes of encouragement to lose weight on daughter body dissatisfaction and disordered eating


By bhadmin February 2, 2021

Mothers’ influence on their daughters is important for understanding girls’ disordered eating and body dissatisfaction. Direct maternal encouragement of daughters to lose weight is linked to daughters’ development of bulimic symptoms, and additional findings indicate that daughters whose mothers merely talk about dieting and body dissatisfaction are more likely to be diagnosed with an eating disorder. The current study extends such research by examining the interactive contributions of maternal encouragement to lose weight and maternal dieting discussions to the prediction of early adolescent daughters’ body dissatisfaction and disordered eating over the middle school period. Participants were 89 adolescent girls who were in the 6th grade at Time 1. Regression analyses were conducted to examine interactive effects of mother encouragement to diet and talk of weight concerns on daughter body dissatisfaction, drive for thinness, and dieting behavior. Results suggest an interactive effect in which mothers’ dieting talk may act as a buffer against the negative effects of direct encouragement to lose weight.

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